Yoko Seyama: Interview

Featured image: Melody Dots | Yoko Seyama | Hortus Botanics Amsterdam, 2016

Why did you decide to come to tiny Hildesheim and participate in the EVI LICHTUNGEN 2018?
I’ve been invited and I’m always curious to come to a new place, I didn’t know anything about this place and I’m curious to discover a new place. I’ve been only an hour here and I find it beautiful and I think there are little stories here and there that I’d like to discover. EVI LICHTUNGEN is more a site-specific art festival so I’d like to have more time to relate my art to what is here.

What impact has „light“ on your life? When did you notice first it had one?
Light doesn’t occupy the space physically but it’s quite visible and it’s kind of a contradiction between what is visible and the non-occupation of space, it’s something that feels free to work with but also very demanding. If you are constructing physical things you might find yourself constrained by space, but with light you always have enough space to work and walk through.

What is your definition of „public“? What does it mean for you to work in „public space“ and what do you hope to achieve with installing your works in public spaces?
Public space has some functions as it is and is always used for a purpose, it has some routine in time, and working in a public space is in a way destructing that routine. So the question is how to integrate this routine and decide if I’m going to keep it or change it, it’s always a big challenge.

As an international artist you have exhibited in a lot of different spaces/places.How does that influence the concept of your art? Do you adapt yourself and your work to the context you are working in?
It is most important that I respect the culture in the context I’m working in and try to include this influence from the local culture in my work. In a gallery you don’t need to think so much about the context. Also it is important to know which kind of audience will attend and see the work.

Where do you chances to exhibit in such a small city like Hildesheim ?
I used to live in The Netherlands so I have exhibited in many different small towns. Small cities give you exposure big cities don’t. In the big cities you’re floating, but in a small town you get the chance to connect to the people and to the culture.

Please describe your perfect working atmosphere.
I’m very open actually and I try always to be as flexible as possible. Throughout my carrier I worked with different types of people. But if I had to chose a team, I would like to work with carpenters or anyone who can „make it happen“.

What is the most beautiful feedback you ever got for one of your artworks?
I like it when people say „It’s poetic“ ! When I work I get so absorbed in the technical and physical aspect of my artwork but in the end, it becomes poetic because I don’t use any words. People find their own understanding of my art .

Interviewed by Maher Meriah